ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau on Saturday approached the Supreme Court challenging the order of Islamabad High Court wherein it ordered for transfer of Azizia Mills Reference against deposed Nawaz Sharif and his children from Accountability Court No.1 to Accountability Court No. 2.
“The commonality of grounds has never been visualised by the superior courts for the transfer of cases,” said the NAB in its application.
The application filed by NAB Prosecutor General Syed Asghar Haider prayed the top court to set aside the order of IHC and allow the Accountability Court No. 1 before Judge Muhammad Bashir to continue hearing of the remaining references.
In compliance with the top court’s July 29 judgment on Panama case, NAB had filed three separate references against deposed Nawaz Sharif and his children before the Administrative Judge of Accountability Court Muhammad Bashir. All the three were taken cognizance of by Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir.
The judge on July 6 decided a reference regarding Avenfield Apartments while the two other references including Azizia Mills and Flagship Investments remained pending before the same judge.
While deciding the Avenfield Apartments reference, the Accountability Judge Bashir had convicted deposed premier Nawaz Sharif awarding him 10-year rigorous imprisonment.
After the conviction, Nawaz Sharif had filed an application for transfer of the remaining cases from Accountability Court No.1 to any other court of the competent jurisdiction.
The transfer application was heard for almost four days and on August 7, the IHC ordered transfer of the remaining cases from Accountability Court No.1 to Accountability Court No. 2. The instant application contended that none of the reasons stated in the short order were relevant to the case law on the subject of transfer of cases. In fact the reasons are not akin to the grounds and causes for such action, it added.
“The reference was filed before Accountability Court No.1 in compliance with the directions of this august court based on the recommendations of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which was formed by this Honourable Court in famously known Panama case.”
“Similarly, perceived notion, condition of mind attributed to Accountability Court Judge (Muhammad Bashir) were also not visualised by the law relating to transfer of cases from one Court to another,” it added.
The perceived notion attributed to the Accountability Court Judge is also not tenable in the law relating to transfer of cases, the application added.
“The IHC also fell into grave error by resorting to hear the case on merits and consequently transferring the same on the basis of deeper appreciation of merit,” it added.
No actual and specific bias or prejudice was highlighted during the course of arguments, NAB contended, adding the IHC had also disregarded the clear cut directions given by the top court from time to time for the just disposal of the references which were transferred.
NAB made Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir and convicted Nawaz Sharif respondents in the application, filed under Article 185(3).
SYED SABEEHUL HUSSNAIN